Welcome to my blog - a collection of stories, thoughts and 'finds' from my adventures in travel and style. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Fashion Math: 1 Dress x 4 Ways

Fashion Math: 1 Dress x 4 Ways

When it comes to fashion, versatility gets my vote, every time.  With a penchant for travel  (and 2 daughters in college) there are a few things competing with my closet for my paycheck!  So, I give extra emoji "heart eyes" to closet staples I can get mileage from. 

  • That's one reason why I'm so in love with this easy Poole sweater dress from Anthropologie.  I can really change up the look (and the season) with just a few simple additions or subtractions. 

Other reasons I love it: 

  • Easy pull-on style
  • The cute tie belt
  • The handkerchief hemline adds a little interest
  • The knit fabric is very wrinkle-resistant

Now a quick clarification:  I am NOT in any way affiliated with Anthropologie - I just really love their clothes!  And this dress is a great template for how you can take a simple dress with a classic shape, and change it up to stretch your wardrobe.  Here are some tips:

1.  Pick a neutral solid:

Safe options are navy, black, white, hunter green or plum - because they're colors that will play well with others (my dress is black with white piping and blue and white striped tie belt, which you'll see below I've removed for some looks).  But any solid that you look good in will do!

Here are some example styles:

Felicity Dress from Nordstrom <$100  

Top Shop Scoop Back Ribbed Dress < $50

TLoft Eyelet Flounce dress < $100

2.  Go Sleeveless:

A sleeveless dress will let you wear it as a standalone piece in warm weather, or layer a t-shirt, thin sweater or blouse underneath if you're adapting the dress for cooler days.

My Anthro dress with a YSL silk scarf - perfect for warm days!

My Anthro dress with a YSL silk scarf - perfect for warm days!

3. Keep the silhouette simple:

My dress is an A-line, but a sheath or column-style dress works just as well.  The more ruffles, flounces and funky elements your dress has, the harder it will be to add things to it without looking a little over-the-top or having the add-ons compete with the dress.  For me personally, the handkerchief hemline of this dress was enough to add interest to the shape if I wear it alone, but it doesn't fight with other elements I add:

4.  The Most Versatile Length...

For the most versatility, it should hit right above or below your knee.  If it's too short or long, it will limit the kinds of jackets/sweaters/blazers you can wear over it without meandering into tricky "proportion" territory.  If you have amazing legs, you can pull off a long jacket over a mini-dress, but it's a thin line before you run the risk of looking a bit like a flasher.  (Cameron Diaz looks amazing here...but her outfit wouldn't be universally HR approved...)  On the other hand, a maxi dress looks best with a cropped jacket or blazer, a là Pippa Middleton, below. Any longer, and you could look like you're drowning in fabric.  So, again - a dress that hits you around the knee is the easiest to change up.

5.  Accessorize 

Add a scarf, blazer, hat, ankle boots, a different belt, chunky get the idea.  These things will change the look of that dress and turn it into a closet chameleon!

That's it!  Have fun, and if you have tips for ways to stretch your closet, I'd love to hear them!


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